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Education Minister officiates at Symposium

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Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Dr Mahendra Reddy delivers his opening address at the 7th Symposium on Sensorless Control for Electrical Drives (SLED) in Nadi.

The 7th Symposium on Sensorless Control for Electrical Drives (SLED) was officially opened by Fiji’s Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Honourable Dr Mahendra Reddy at Sofitel Resort and Spa in Nadi, on 5 June 2016.

The Symposium, which is organised by The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Engineering and Physics provides a forum for international experts to present and discuss the latest developments in the field of Sensorless Control of Electrical Drives. In doing so, it allows all engineers from industry and academia to learn about the status, trends and applications in the engineering field.

In his opening address, Honourable Dr Reddy said that similar symposiums as SLED, should be organised more in Fiji.

“My government believes that if you want to remain relevant in the rapidly changing global economy, you need to listen to and borrow research which is done elsewhere, and see its relevance and utilise it for Fiji’s growth and development,” he added.

While praising the efforts of USP’s School of Engineering and Physics (SEP) in getting SLED 2016 to be held in Fiji for the first time, Honourable Dr Reddy said that it is a reflection of the leadership of the School, for being able to attract Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers  (IEEE) to have the Symposium here.

According to the Education Minister, SLED 2016 not only provides the opportunity for international experts to convey and organise discussions in developments and advances in the area of Sensorless Control of Electrical Drives, but also provides an opportunity to see how to get research and development together, in the Pacific.

He further said that USP has been playing a very important role in developing a pool of expertise, adding that the University is the think-tank of the Pacific region.

Honourable Dr Reddy highlighted that doing a joint research with USP will enable it to reach the entire Pacific Region because the University is a regional institution and has the infrastructure throughout the region.

USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra said that the opportunity to host the Symposium means a lot for SEP and the University.

“It goes without saying that engineering is crucial to the development of the Pacific Islands, especially in promoting this resilience, as we face, not only the ordinary challenges of development where engineering is crucial, but where we face problems of climate change and increasing ferocity of natural disasters,” he said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra (front left) and the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Dr Mahendra Reddy (centre) with participants of the SLED workshop in Nadi.

While thanking the Head of SEP, Professor Maurizio Cirrincione, Professor Chandra said that under Professor Cirrincione’s leadership, the engineering programme at USP is making excellent progress.

Fiji is now a subsection of IEEE and this has been facilitated by USP’s SEP. The University has a student branch of IEEE.

“Our association with IEEE will no doubt benefit Fiji as it scales up its developments, deals with its problems and aims for quality in education,” Professor Chandra said.

The Symposium will end on 6 June 2016.


Photo Gallery: 2016 7th Symposium on Sensorless Control for Electrical Drives (SLED)

This news item was published on 6 Jun 2016 09:20:03 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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